|Publication number||US3663975 A|
|Publication date||23 May 1972|
|Filing date||17 Jul 1970|
|Priority date||17 Jul 1970|
|Publication number||US 3663975 A, US 3663975A, US-A-3663975, US3663975 A, US3663975A|
|Inventors||Brubaker Robert F, Fish Austin D, Fisher William G|
|Original Assignee||Gen Motors Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (11), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Fish etal.
[ 51 May 23, 1972  Inventors: Austin D. Fish, Tipp City; William G. Fisher, Vandalia; Robert F. Brubaker, Eaton, all of Ohio  Assignee: General Motors Corporation, Detroit,
 Filed: July 17, 1970  App1.No.: 55,813
2,611,256 9/1952 Candon ..68/23.5 X 2,236,748 4/1941 Chayie.... ....68l23.5 X 3,304,751 2/1967 Schwing ..68/23.5
Primary Examiner-William 1. Price AttorneyWilliam S. Pettigrew and Frederick M. Ritchie ABSTRACT A domestic clothes washer has a pair of nested tubs one of which is imperforate to retain the washing fluid, the other of which is perforated an rotatable to centrifuge the washing fluid from clothes being washed therein. A peripheral fill system includes a fill tube circumscribing the top of the nested pair of tubs. The fill tube has transverse rectangular slots to provide a circumferential series of fan-shaped sprays for improved wetting and immersing of the clothes at the start of a clothes washing cycle, for flushing suds from the nested pair of tubs prior to rinsing and for faster release of the tub-adhered clothes during rinse fill. The peripheral fill system includes a vacuum breaker directly connecting a domestic water supply to the fill tube for effecting pressurized sprays to the tubs without back siphoning of washing fluid.
2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures Paie nte'd May 23, 1972 3,663,975
4 Sheath-Shut 1 A T TORNEY INVENTORS 12251: .3 ails/2 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Patented May 23, 1972 Patented May 23, 1972 3,663,975
4 Sheets-Sheet 5 TORNE Y METHOD OF SUPPLYING RINSE WATERTO A PAIR OF OPEN-TOP TUBS Prior art clothes washers have included a peripheral fill system in combination with a nested tubs, perforate spin basket type of clothes washer. However, no means have been provided in suchprior art washers to prevent back siphoning of contaminated washing fluid into the domestic water supply. Nor has the prior art disclosed means to completely flush the nested tubs of suds and for effecting rapid clothes immersion.
' This invention is directed-to a peripheral fill system which overcomes these shortcomings of the prior art. I
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a peripheral fill system for a domestic clothes washer with a vacuum breaker between a peripheral fill tube and a domestic water supply.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a peripheral fill system with transverse fan-shaped sprays circumscribing the top of a perforate spin basket type clothes washer for better wetting of a clothes load during wash fill and thus improved immersion of a clothes load at the start of a wash cycle.
A more specific object of this invention is the provision of transverse fan-shaped sprays in a peripheral fill system to flush suds from the inside and outside of a spin basket and from the agitator therein while releasing clothes from the side wall of the spin basket for faster immersion during rinse fill after spin.
A more specific object of this invention is the provision in a domestic clothes washer of a vacuum breaker in combination with a peripheral fill tube wherein the vacuum breaker is positioned on a subtop of the washer above the highest possible water level therein.
Another object of this invention is an improved vacuum breaker for connection with a domestic water supply line which includes an auxiliary valved opening for connecting the water supply line to atmosphere when the line experiences a sudden negative pressure.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a domestic clothes washer with its access door open to illustrate the operating peripheral fill system of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of a nested tub assembly for a domestic clothes washer provided with this inventron;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a domestic clothes washer with parts broken away to show a tub assembly including an overlying plastic subtop mounting the peripheral fill system of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the bottom side of the subtop taken along line 44 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view through a top portion of the tub assembly and subtop taken along line 5-5 to show the fan-shaped spray and its relation to the tub assembly;
FIG. 6 is a side sectional view of a vacuum breaker suitable for use with this invention, the respective supply and back siphoning positions of a valve element being shown schematically in solid (supply) and phantom (back siphoning) lines; and
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of the improved vacuum breaker of this invention.
In accordance with this invention and with reference to FIGS. 1 and 3, a domestic clothes washer is shown generally at 10. The washer includes a box-like sheet metal casing 12 having a top wall 14. The top wall has a recessed portion 16 including an access opening 18 which is exposed when the access door 20 is opened (FIG. 1). FIG. 1 is illustrative of the operating peripheral fill spray 22 of this invention.
Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the casing 12 is shown to enclose a nested tub assembly 24. The assembly includes an open top imperforate wall water container 26 and a perforate wall spin basket 28. Pcrforations are coextensive with the cylindrical sidewall of the spin basket. An annular plastic subtop 30 is sealingly clamped to the open top of the water container 26 in the manner illustrated at 32 (FIG. 5). The subtop circumscribes the open top of the water container and extends over a rim 33 forming the top opening of the spin basket 28 to define an access collar 36 between the access opening 18 of the cabinet and the top opening of the spin basket.
In some washers of this type, it is desirable to recirculate washing fluid throughout the agitation portions of a wash cycle. For this purpose the clothes washer 10 may be provided with a recirculation water conduit 34 which receives pul'nped water from the water container 26 and returns it thereto through a removable lint filter drawer shown generally at 35 (FIG. 1).
The water container 26 and, thus, the tub assembly 24 is mounted on a suspension system shown generally at 40 and more fully taught in U. S. Pat. No. 3,493,118 granted Feb. 3, 1970. The tub assembly includes an agitator 44 which with the spin basket 28 is connected to a drive mechanism shown generally at 50. The drive mechanism may be of a roller-drive type taught more fully in U. S. Pat. No. 3,087,321 granted Apr. 30, 1963. In general, mechanism 50 may be operated in one manner to vertically reciprocate or oscillate the agitator 44 for washing clothes in the tub assembly. When the mechanism is operated in another manner, the spin basket 28 is rotated with respect to the water container 26 for centrifuging washing fluid from the clothes in the spin basket.
The peripheral fill system is carried and supported on the annular plastic subtop 30. The bottom side (FIG. 4) of the subtop includes a pair of integral ribs 54, 56 defining a channel 58 for receiving a flexible fill tube 60 of white elastomer with a shore hardness of 70 i 5 durometer. The fill tube has integral tabs 62 which are pushed through openings 64 in the subtop for supporting the fill tube in a position overlying the open tops of the water container and the spin basket. One end 70 of the fill tube is closedwhile the other end 72 is open and connects directly to a vacuum breaker shown generally at in FIG. 2. In the preferred embodiment the fill tube is 47.86 inches long, has an inside diameter of 0.36 inch, a wall thickness of 0.060 inch and I0 slots spaced 4.00 inches apart. Two end slots are spaced 3.00 inches from the next closest slot and one end slot is 4.84 inches from the open end 72 of the tube. Each slot is 0.06 inch wide and traverses an arc formed by a 0.17 inch deep notch in the tube bottom.
The subtop is molded with a built-up tunnel portion 82 which houses the vacuum breaker 80 in a manner to permit its connection with the open end 72 of the fill tube. Water is supplied from a domestic water source through a thermostatic hot and cold water supply valve 86 adapted to operate on domestic water pressure between 10 psi and I20 psi. The water supplied passes through a conduit 88 to the vacuum breaker 80. Under desired conditions the valve 86 will supply the vacuum breaker 80 with water in the pressure range between 50 psi and 60 psi. Water fills the tube 60 at supply pressure, allowing for some pressure drop through the vacuum breaker, to cause the issuance thereof in a plurality of fanshaped pressure sprays from each of the 12 slots 90 arranged about the bottom side of the tube. Each spray covers an area from the sidewall of the spin basket on the outside to a point of impingement on the inside just beneath the top cone 91 on the agitator 44 when theagitator is in its lower position.
With reference to FIG. 5, most of the spray enters the spin basket where it serves to wet down dry clothes placed in the clothes washer at the beginning of a clothes washing cycle. This is insured by the depending rib 56 which diverts the outboard portion of the spray downward. Rib 56 approaches rim 33 and also serves thereby as a guard to prevent clothes from being spun into the space 96 between the tubs. Later in the cycle after the clothes have become plastered on the side of the spin basket during centrifuging, the spray serves to release the clothes from the sidewall by breaking down the adhesion between the clothes and the spin basket.
A small portion of the spray is permitted to flush the space 96 between the water container 26 and the spin basket 28 as taught more fully in copending application Ser. No. 55,814 commonly assigned with this application. This tends to prevent suds-lock and maintain the spin basket freely rotatable relative to the water container. Insofar as this aspect of the instant invention is concerned, the rib 56 and rim 33 are critically related. The rim 33 has a curved portion 37 radially inward of the rib 56 and a radially outwardly directed terminal flinger portion 38. When the spray is operating and the spin basket is spinning, a portion of the spray hits the curved portion of the rim 33 and is flung outwardly by centrifugal force into the space 96. Thus the rib 56 must be sufficiently close to the spinning basket rim 33 to prevent clothes from being thrown out of the basket. But it must not be so close that it will block the spray portion being flung outwardly into the space 96. A gap of 0.375 inch is preferred.
The vacuum breaker 80 will now be described with reference to FIGS. 6 and 7. The vacuum breaker comprises a four-piece structure an open ended rubber vent diaphragm 100, a diaphragm retainer 102, and a two-piece housing 104 having an inlet end 106 and an outlet end 108. The retainer 102 has four rectangular ports 110 circumferentially arranged about a reduced diameter portion 112 and four rectangular ports 114 circumferentially arranged around an enlarged diameter portion 116 which terminates in a radial flange 120. The flange abuts against one end of the housing inlet portion 106 when the four pieces are nested as shown in FIG. 6. The housing portion 108 includes a pair of atmospheric vents 124, a central primary vent 126, and six secondary vents 128 arranged about an upper 180 portion of the housing portion 108. Note that the vents 126 and 128 are on the upper half of the housing 104. This is to place the vent openings positively above any possible level of water which could stand on the top ofthe subtop 30, e.g., in the molded channel 132 (FIG. 5).
Refer now to FIGS. 5 and 6 for a description of the operation of the peripheral fill system of this invention. The inlet end 106 of the vacuum breaker is connected to the domestic water supply tubing 88. The open end 72 of the fill tube 60 is connected to the outlet end 134 of the housing. Periodically throughout a clothes washing cycle the water valve 86 is energized to supply water of desired temperature. By way of example, water is supplied to fill the tub assembly 24 to a desired predetermined level at the start ofa clothes washing cycle and at the beginning of each of one or more deep rinse cycles each of which is preceded by a spin-out cycle for removing the soiled wash or rinse water from the tub assembly and the clothes by means of centrifuging.
Water supplied to the peripheral fill system is under a positive pressure (50 psi to 60 psi) in the hose 88 and inlet end 106 of the vacuum breaker. Water being supplied to the tub assembly is shown by solid flow arrows in FIG. 6. Water pressure causes a first valve portion 138 to distend. The distention accomplishes two things. First, the ports 110 in the diaphragm retainer are uncovered to place the outlet end of the housing 134 in communication with inlet end 106. Secondly, at from 10 psi to psi the distention closes the primary vent opening 126 in order to prevent a back pressure in the fill tube from causing water to back out of the opening 126 where it could then overflow the subtop and spill on the floor. Water backing out of the vents 124 will merely return to the tub assembly since these vents are in the tunnel 82 leading to the underside of the subtop.
The supply of water under pressure to the inlet end 72 of the fill tube then fills the tube with water under pressure. A pressurized fan-shaped jet of water thus issues from each of the 12 tube slots 90. Approximately a relatively small 5 percent of the arcuate fan-shaped spray hits the rim portions 37, 38 from whence, during spin, it is flung into the space 96 between the spin basket 28 and the water container 26. The relatively large balance of each spray flushes an area traversing the distance from the spin basket 28 to the agitator 44.
It is possible that a domestic water supply will malfunction and create a negative pressure in the inlet end 106 of the vacuum breaker. Where the vacuum breaker is connected directly to a fill tube, periodically under pressure, special provisions must be incorporated. In this case, the diaphragm portion 138 will contract to close the retainer ports 110 and open the primary vent 126. Thus, contaminated water from the clothes washer cannot normally be sucked from the waterfilled tube 72 into the domestic water supply system. A further feature accommodates for a ruptured valve portion 138 or for an obstruction between the valve and the retainer. The diaphragm includes a secondary valve portion 143 (the top half of flange 142) which, in response to a sudden negative pressure at the inlet end 106 of the vacuum breaker, opens immediately to the position shown in phantom line (FIG. 6) to admit atmospheric air (dot-dash arrows) to relieve the suction at the inlet end more quickly. Thus water remaining in the fill tube next to the vacuum breaker when a sudden negative pressure is experienced cannot be sucked into the domestic water supply system.
The tapered end 144 of the diaphragm restricts to a cylindrical nozzle 145. During supply of water to the fill tube, the pressurized flow of water at the restriction causes the diaphragm to distend or balloon (FIG. 6). Moreover, the opening formed by the cylindrical nozzle portion 145, under normal operation, tends to jet the water past the vents 124.
One suitable vacuum breaker includes an acetal resin housing 104. The inside diameter of the inlet end 106 is 0.390 inch and of the outlet end 134 0.460 inch. The diaphragm retainer 102 may be formed of acetal resin. The vent diaphragm is formed of rubber having a shore hardness of 40 i 5 durometer, a valve wall thickness of 0.030 inch in the valve portion 138 and 0.020 inch in the tapered portion 144, a diameter of 0.980 inch at the flange 142 and inside diameters of 0.394 inch and 0.360 inch respectively at the inlet and outlet ends of the valve portion 138. The inside diameter of the nozzle is 0.20 inch and overall the diaphragm is 0.860 inch long 0.640 inch from the flange 142 to the start of the tapered portion 144 and 0.760 inch from the flange 142 to the jointure between the tapered portion 144 and the cylindrical portion 145. The portion 112 of the retainer 102 conforms to the valve portion 138 lying thereagainst.
It should now be seen that an improved fill system has been provided for a domestic clothes washer. The system combines a vacuum breaker with a fill tube to effect a plurality of peripherally initiated, fan-shaped, pressure sprays about the inside of a perforate spin basket. These pressurized sprays more quickly immerse the clothes at the beginning of a washing cycle and also more quickly flush the clothes and tub assembly of suds resulting during said washing cycle, all without danger of back siphoning contaminated washing fluids into a domestic water supply for the washer.
While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
1. A method of supplying rinse water to a pair of nested and spaced, open-top, inner and outer tubs in a domestic clothes washer comprising the steps of supplying rinse water to a hol low spray tube circumscribing the open-top tubs, directing an annular plurality of fan-shaped sprays downwardly from said spray tube toward said open-top tubs, intercepting only relatively small outboard portions of each of said sprays at points spaced above the top of said inner tub to divert the intercepted portions downwardly onto the top of said inner tub, and rotating said inner tub to centrifugally fling the inter cepted portions toward the top of said outer tub, thereby to flush the inside surface of said outer tub and rinse the space between the tubs, the relatively large portions of said sprays which are not intercepted being directed throughout the inside of said inner tub, thereby to release clothes adhering to surfaces inside said inner tub and rinse said surfaces.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the rinse water supplied is at substantially 50 pounds per square inch to 60 pounds per square inch.
5 i l k
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2168068 *||8 May 1936||1 Aug 1939||Bendix Home Appliances Inc||Washing and centrifuging textiles|
|US2236748 *||28 May 1938||1 Apr 1941||American Machine & Metals||Washing machine|
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|US2611256 *||15 Mar 1946||23 Sep 1952||Gen Motors Corp||Clothes-washing machine|
|US3304751 *||16 Dec 1964||21 Feb 1967||Philco Ford Corp||Laundry apparatus|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4489455 *||3 Nov 1983||25 Dec 1984||The Procter & Gamble Company||Method for highly efficient laundering of textiles|
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|US9109321 *||24 Mar 2011||18 Aug 2015||General Electric Company||Device and method for rinsing objects in an appliance|
|US9567703 *||7 Oct 2014||14 Feb 2017||Haier Us Appliance Solutions, Inc.||Nozzle assembly with multiple spray curvatures and air-lock release geometry|
|US20080229517 *||20 Mar 2008||25 Sep 2008||Santiago Alonso Plata Amarillas||Washing machine and textile washing and rinsing method|
|US20110148260 *||3 Sep 2010||23 Jun 2011||Alejandro Arzate Silva||Tub Cover Design and Fastening Means of Tub Cover to Tub|
|US20120240638 *||24 Mar 2011||27 Sep 2012||Stephen Edward Hettinger||Device and method for rinsing objects in an appliance|
|U.S. Classification||8/158, 68/23.5|